One of the lesser known financial assistance programs provided by the Social Security Administration is Supplement Security Income. SSI benefits are available to adults and children who are disabled if they meet the income requirements. In some cases, benefits may also be available to elderly individuals over the age of 65 as long as their income and resources fall within the limits. Eligibility for SSI benefits requires limited income and resources.
Because of the limit on income and financial resources that is required for eligibility for the SSI program, all applicants and recipients of benefits must provide information about their earnings to the SSA. For the purposes of the SSI programs, earnings are defined as wages and self-employment income that comes from a person’s work or employment. All recipients of SSI benefits must report their earnings to the program for continued eligibility and receipt of benefits.
In some cases, SSI recipients are also required to report the earnings of other individuals in addition to their own earnings (or even if they themselves do not have any personal earnings). SSI recipients who are married and living with a spouse who works must report the spouse’s earnings. Similarly, children receiving SSI benefits who live with a parent who is working must report the parent’s earnings. Non-citizen recipients of SSI benefits must also report the earnings of their sponsor or their sponsor’s spouse, regardless of whether the SSI recipient and sponsor live in the same household or not.
The requirement to report earnings involves several different pieces of information. First, it involves the reporting of the SSI recipient’s monthly gross wages. The SSI recipient must ensure that the information provided to the SSA is accurate, which means that he or she must also report if wages or self-employment income increases or decreases or if he or she acquires an additional job. The SSA must also be notified of changes in a person’s employment status (acquiring or quitting employment), any work-related expenses connected with the disability, or any work expenses related to blindness.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Reporting Your Earnings to Social Security-2014 Edition,” 2014